A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods

Book - 1997
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God only knows what possessed Bill Bryson, a reluctant adventurer if ever there was one, to undertake a gruelling hike along the world's longest continuous footpath-The Appalachian Trail. The 2,000-plus-mile trail winds through 14 states, stretching along the east coast of the United States, from Georgia to Maine. It snakes through some of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes in North America, as well as through some of its most poverty-stricken and primitive backwoods areas. With his offbeat sensibility, his eye for the absurd, and his laugh-out-loud sense of humour, Bryson recounts his confrontations with nature at its most uncompromising over his five-month journey. An instant classic, riotously funny,A Walk in the Woodswill add a whole new audience to the legions of Bill Bryson fans.
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, c1997
ISBN: 9780385257138
0385257139
Branch Call Number: 796.510974/BRY 4565nf 2

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SPPL_János Mar 21, 2018

Contriving to hike the Appalachian Trail, Bryson turns his droll wit on America. Joining him is the friend with whom he hitchhiked Europe in "Neither Here Nor There", now somewhat estranged and definitely out of shape. Together they are hopelessly out of their depth before even leaving the sporting goods store. They don't come anywhere close to hiking all 2,100 miles as planned, but Bryson delivers a charming observation of America, self-reliance, the environment, and friendship.

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PearlyKayAm1
Nov 25, 2017

A real half-and-half book. An extremely funny and entertaining half when he was talking about the preparation, the hike, and the people he was with (or met) on the trail coupled with an almost boring textbook half telling the history of the trees and area. I discerned a palpable dislike for the government incompetence when it comes to the forestry service.

g
gvlib2016
Oct 12, 2017

For anyone who has ever been in the woods, gone to a camp, slept in a tent. Primarily those who have ventured further than the city park. I have not laughed this hard for a long time.
Bill Bryson leaves nothing out, plus you gets lots of interesting facts about the area and trail and it's history. This story is timeless. Makes me laugh just to think about it. I've been telling all my friends they must get this book or listen to the audio book as I have been doing.
'"PRICELESS". Backpacking is an eye opener when you find you need to be dependant upon what you bring with you. I know what it's like to carry a 70 lb pack, and have my sleeping bag get wet when slipping off of a bridge made by beavers. What it's like to sleep in a puddle in my tent during a horrible thunderstorm. Normally I love thunderstorms, in a tent it's a bit over whelming. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for some good humor and lessons about the wild we still have available to us. Enjoy! BB - Mpls, MN

This was a fun book to read. Bryson's writing has a lot of humor in it, making this book much more entertaining. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is a daunting task, but Bryson does hike the trail (though ends up finishing in segments). He shares a lot of lore and facts about the trail so that the reader learns about the towns and sights around the trail. Interesting and fun--especially his friend Katz.

HCL_staff_reviews Jul 17, 2017

A surprisingly funny book that is part memoir and part natural history lesson. A Walk in The Woods tells the story of Bill Bryson's attempt to hike from Georgia to Maine with his eccentric friend from college, Stephen Katz. This a great read for anyone that is interested in American history, meditations on natural beauty or funny "fish out of water" travel tales. — Anna D., North Regional Library

ArapahoeRachel Jul 13, 2017

I laughed so hard reading this book! It made me never want to take a hike again, but in the best way. Bill Bryson's perspective is fresh and entertaining.

Manateestarz Jun 21, 2017

What a fun read! Bryson does a wonderful job of describing the experience of being on the Appalachian trail and the history behind the trail. I learned so much by reading this book, but I also laughed. His writing style is so inviting and engaging, without being stupidly silly. He has a wicked turn of phrase.

I also liked how he described his friend and trailmate, Katz. At first Katz come off as a sort of buffoon, but later Bryson reveals more about Katz's true character and his solid, enduring friendship.

I highly recommend this book.

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GINGER666
Jun 06, 2017

Love all of Bryson's work. This is one of his best (best is In A Sunburnt Country).

m
melissawade
May 22, 2017

Amazed at the high-ratings, but then Trump was elected and it came as a shock to people here (I was horrified, but not entirely shocked). Anyone who is not in Bryson's socio-economic class is to be put down and mocked, and not in a kindly fashion as though those two things could be done kindly. Whether the person helped him or hindered him, s/he was a target including his "friend" who I hope was well compensated for his time.

The audio version also gives us a ridiculous accent for everyone encountered. I have to assume the reader has never heard any Southern accent in his life and obviously thinks that everyone speaks the same. The one exception was for a hiker in NH who was ridiculed for his tech contraption that Bryson likely would have purchased himself if he hadn't had assistance in choosing gear. That hiker was given a lisp.

There were occasional interesting facts scattered in the book and some sadness such as when Bryson thinks he may be experiencing hypothermia and you realize he won't die since then the book wouldn't exist. I really don't think a book about the AT should inspire anger aside from passages about underfunding/funding of bad projects, but that was my primary emotion.

j
jeffi22
Apr 19, 2017

hilarious and insightful, looking to hike the AT myself so some interesting, practical and non-practical, lots of history, natural, environ; enjoyed and related to first half more than second

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Dngies12
Jul 28, 2015

"If there is one thing the Appalachian Trail teaches, it is low-level ecstasy-something we could all do with more of in our lives."

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fzlu
Oct 22, 2011

In America, alas, beauty has become something you drive to, and nature an either/or proposition--either you ruthlessly subjugate it, as at Tocks Dam and a million other places, or you deify it, treat it as something holy and remote, a thing apart, as along the Appalachian Trail. (p. 200)

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